noun an·tip·a·thy \ an-ˈti-pə-thē \
|Updated on: 3 Aug 2018

Definition of antipathy

plural antipathies
1 : a strong feeling of dislike
  • an antipathy to taxes
  • a deep antipathy between the groups
2 : something disliked : an object of aversion
  • … perhaps his greatest antipathies were cabs, old women, doors that would not shut …
  • —Charles Dickens
3 obsolete : opposition in feeling

Recent Examples of antipathy from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'antipathy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

When the nation of Yugoslavia was created in 1945, it combined a number of ethnic groups with a history of violent antipathy toward each other. In 1991–92 four regions of the country announced that they would become independent nations; a bloody six-year war followed, fueled by these ancient and powerful antipathies. The American Civil War similarly resulted from antipathy between the North and the South. But in the U.S.'s relations with its next-door neighbors, it's been a long time since emotions have gotten much stronger than annoyance.

Origin and Etymology of antipathy

Latin antipathia, from Greek antipatheia, from antipathēs of opposite feelings, from anti- + pathos experience — more at pathos

Synonym Discussion of antipathy

enmity, hostility, antipathy, antagonism, animosity, rancor, animus mean deep-seated dislike or ill will. enmity suggests positive hatred which may be open or concealed.
    • an unspoken enmity
hostility suggests an enmity showing itself in attacks or aggression.
    • hostility between the two nations
antipathy and antagonism imply a natural or logical basis for one's hatred or dislike, antipathy suggesting repugnance, a desire to avoid or reject, and antagonism suggesting a clash of temperaments leading readily to hostility.
    • a natural antipathy for self-seekers
    • antagonism between the brothers
animosity suggests intense ill will and vindictiveness that threaten to kindle hostility.
    • animosity that led to revenge
rancor is especially applied to bitter brooding over a wrong.
    • rancor filled every line of his letters
animus adds to animosity the implication of strong prejudice.
    • objections devoid of personal animus

ANTIPATHY Defined for Kids


noun an·tip·a·thy \ an-ˈti-pə-thē \

Definition of antipathy for Students

plural antipathies
: a strong feeling of dislike

Medical Dictionary


noun an·tip·a·thy \ an-ˈtip-ə-thē \

medical Definition of antipathy

plural antipathies
1 : settled aversion or dislike
2 : an object of aversion


play \ˌant-i-ˈpath-ik\ adjective

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up antipathy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


resembling the blue of the sky

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet-pasta-spelling-help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!